Rio Ferdinand has suggested that Steve McClaren will bring a much-needed winning mindset into Manchester United if he is brought into Erik ten Hag’s coaching staff.
The former England manager is set to become the Dutchman’s number two when he arrives at Old Trafford. It would be the second time he steps into the role having done so under Sir Alex Ferguson between 1999 and 2001.
McClaren was known for implementing sports psychology methods into the set-up during that time, with the squad going on to famously win the Treble in his first season. Later in his career, he appointed ten Hag as his assistant at FC Twente as they went on to win the Dutch title in 2010.
The two are set to reunite in a roles-reversal at Old Trafford, and Ferdinand believes his past experiences of winning silverware is an aspect United are currently lacking. Speaking on the FIVE YouTube show, he said: “What you get with Steve McClaren is somebody who is a football man, loves the game, is enthusiastic, meticulous, cares about the details.
“Not just from a football point of view but mentally. And he understands what it takes at Man United to win, that’s important.”
He continued: “I think he’ll be a good addition. What’s good with ten Hag is that he’s already got a relationship from before. And he will be able to steer him in the right direction.”
Ferdinand went on to praise McClaren for focusing on the mental aspect of the game at a time when it was not regarded as an important facet within the dressing room. He added: “He was always ahead of the curve.
“I liked his bravery in that (mental mindset work). Because at that time a lot of them players would have been like ‘what’s all this about, he’s never played football in his life’.
“That could have been the response but Steve McClaren was brave in bringing that element to the team and wanted us to understand that part. You look now and he was ahead of his time in that sense.”